My name is Pat Coakley. I’m an educational psychologist (retired from private practice) and a writer and photographer creating multi-media for small businesses. This online magazine, however, has its seeds in a deeply personal story: I want to transform fruits and veggies from a food of dread to one of choice– one beautiful, personable, humorous fruit and veggie at a time. Why? It was only when I began to photograph them, looking at them as objects of color, texture, shapes, and humor that I began to consume them willingly.
Creativity lead to consumption and a 60+ pound weight loss and a higher credit card debt for my new wardrobe. WARNING! Both things may happen to you as well.
Perhaps, I want to create the first advertising and marketing agency just for fruits and veggies? Maybe. If so, my client needs a total reboot from its current reputation as the food that is so darn good for you that no one eats them unless on a diet.
My mission is to assist individuals, associations, health advocates, educators, teachers, parents, kids of all ages, to find the beauty and humor in these foods! If our task is to write about them first– paint them, make up a song about them, knit a hat for one– perhaps, the relationship to them shall expand from dread to delight.
Here is what this magazine is NOT about: This is not a weight loss blog or magazine. I have no secret sauce, galactic supersonic colonic, fitness tip, or special diet that works. The pounds that I lost in this fruit and veggie celebration are still circling the neighborhood in search of my address and other parts of me. Recent studies suggest that those “lost” pounds may be biologically determined and insistent on finding their way back. And, all I can say, is that for several years I’ve eluded them by throwing cauliflowers and gourds in their path in hopes they lose their way. Trying to look at vegetables and fruits creatively and with humor has helped me remain stealth to their behold-the-devil GPS system and, for the time being, out of tent dresses. I’m going to chart my own progress on a special page in this magazine if anyone is interested but it is not the focus of it.
You are welcome to become a fan of Waving or Drowning?®’s large Facebook community from around the world who all seem energized by photos of veggies and fruits and who contribute ideas on a regular basis to what I might photograph. Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest...oh, yes, we are there, too! Not that we know entirely what we are doing in all these places, but we’ll eventually figure it all out!
But, to be clear:
No product or business or vegetable lobby is involved with my weight management success nor are underwriting any costs of this magazine. There is no work-out toy I’m recommending though I may try them out at my expense, (all they ever tell me is that they’ve never seen anyone with a higher sedentary life style AND still above ground) nor even recommendations to follow any national diet plan or regimen that I use or you’ve heard about or watched celebrities champion. No one is giving me money to speak on behalf of their weight loss product or business. Fad diets are in my rear view mirror as are supernova cleansing colonics, magnetic bracelets, mood rings, and self-help books promising long term results with short term fixes.
I’m here to celebrate fruits & veggies for their beauty, personality, humor, and shapes and sizes. Period. I’ll leave the “should- eat” reasons to others.
A gallery of my work can be seen by clicking here.
The archive of this magazine includes another personal blog I created in 2008 under another name, Single For a Reason®, a wide-ranging photo opinion blog that won a first place award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in 2009. The judge said his cholesterol level had been lowered by his scoured arteries, cleaned out by what he called my “eloquent irritability”. One of the posts that caught his attention “Dear Bread People”, is linked on the menu at the top. My bloviation on Panera bread discontinuing my favorite Focaccia bread is a good example of why I ended up needing to be the editor of a magazine celebrating fruits and vegetables. Sigh.
The magazine name, Waving or Drowning?® is inspired by a well known Stevie Smith poem (Waving Not Drowning), about someone who was swimming in cold water and went out too far, for too long, until it was too late. When the arm finally went up to wave for help, the folks on shore just thought it was a wave of “hello”. Being invisible or misunderstood is not helpful when you are in trouble.
So, “Hello”, again. I’m swimming. I’m waving. I’m drowning. All at the same time.
Just another day.
“Some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help” (Calvin) but Michele Obama’s cauliflower mac n’ cheese might.
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